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Yoga Body The Origins of Modern Posture Practice

ISBN-10: 0195395344
ISBN-13: 9780195395341
Edition: 2010
Authors: Mark Singleton
List price: $21.95 Buy it from $15.39
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Description: Yoga is so prevalent in the modern world--practiced by pop stars, taught in schools, and offered in yoga centers, health clubs, and even shopping malls--that we take its presence, and its meaning, for granted. But how did the current yoga boom  More...

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Book details

List price: $21.95
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 3/10/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.078
Language: English

Yoga is so prevalent in the modern world--practiced by pop stars, taught in schools, and offered in yoga centers, health clubs, and even shopping malls--that we take its presence, and its meaning, for granted. But how did the current yoga boom happen? And is it really rooted in ancient Indianpractices, as many of its adherents claim?In this groundbreaking book, Mark Singleton calls into question many commonly held beliefs about the nature and origins of postural yoga (asana) and suggests a radically new way of understanding the meaning of yoga as it is practiced by millions of people across the world today. Singleton showsthat, contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence in the Indian tradition for the kind of health and fitness-oriented asana practice that dominates the global yoga scene of the twenty-first century. Singleton's surprising - and surely controversial - thesis is that yoga as it is popularlypracticed today owes a greater debt to modern Indian nationalism and, even more surprisingly, to the spiritual aspirations of European bodybuilding and early 20th-century women's gymnastic movements of Europe and America, than it does to any ancient Indian yoga tradition. This discovery enablesSingleton to explain, as no one has done before, how the most prevalent forms of postural yoga, like Ashtanga, Bikram and "Hatha" yoga, came to be the hugely popular phenomena they are today.Drawing on a wealth of rare documents from archives in India, the UK and the USA, as well as interviews with the few remaining, now very elderly figures in the 1930s Mysore asana revival, Yoga Body turns the conventional wisdom about yoga on its head.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
A Brief Overview of Yoga in the Indian Tradition
Fakirs, Yogins, Europeans
Popular Portrayals of the Yogin
India and the International Physical Culture Movement
Modern Indian Physical Culture: Degeneracy and Experimentation
Yoga as Physical Culture I: Strength and Vigor
Yoga as Physical Culture II: Harmonial Gymnastics and Esoteric Dance
The Medium and the Message: Visual Reproduction and the Āsana Revival
T. Krishnamacharya and the Mysore Āsana Revival
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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